Our next stop on our geography adventure was the country of Russia, and a transition from the continent of Asia to the continent of Europe.
I was a little concerned that our geography song might be a bit difficult for them, but both of them did really well with the mouthful of words. Honestly, I think they liked it. Something about childhood that revels in a mouthful of apparent jibberish, the satisfaction of saying a difficult word whether or not you know what it means.
The Russian Federation,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan,
Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Belarus,
Azerbaijan and Armenia—
These are the countries of the former USSR.
We tackled our typical notebooking pages, learned about a girl named Olia who studied dance in Russia (Children Just Like Me), and prayed for the missionaries and unreached peoples. Providentially, one of the daily emails that I get for the unreached people groups happened to be on a people-group in Kyrgyzstan. So, I pulled up the email during our prayer time and read about the Kyrgyz, who have just recently received the Bible in their language. After several prayer cards of people without the Bible throughout our study, my son got REALLY excited about this one. He was thrilled that the people finally had a Bible and, completely on his own, mentioned it every time he prayed that day. One of the highlights of this year has been to see the tender hearts of my kids react to the unsaved in other countries; their passion for the lost always ignites my own passion.
On the last day of our study, we has some particularly fun activities planned. We made our flip-books of Russian animals…
…and classified our Russian animals in our notebook.
Then, we made Russian Tea Cakes. I’d happened upon the recipe in one of my books awhile back and saved it for our Russian study, knowing my kids would absolutely love them. The recipe was a very simple one (which was why I was bold enough to try it, and even then I was out of walnuts and had to do my best without them).
1 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add flour, vanilla, and walnuts. Form into 1-inch balls and place an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Watch carefully! While warm, roll in additional confectioners sugar. Yield: 4 dozen.
The kids helped me to count and measure, then roll the balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Of course, we had nowhere near the 4 dozen that the recipe said we’d have, but there was still plenty to go around.
While the cookies were baking, the kids played with our Animal Jigsaw Atlas, piecing the animal puzzles together for the continents that we’ve covered so far (Africa and Asia).
Then, I was actually brave (i.e. foolish) enough to let the kids roll the warm cookies in the powdered sugar. Oh!!! I must confess I was very tense and nervous, but overall we didn’t do too badly. (Forgive me for not getting any in-action photos, but I wanted my full attention on the project at hand.)
And finally, it was time to consume! I didn’t have any caffein-free hot tea for the kids, so we settled for milk and Russian Tea Cakes as the kids reflected on Olia’s favorite meal of bliny (pancakes served with sour cream). We all agreed that we liked the tea cakes better than the idea of bliny.